Just over one month out from the start of the NBA regular season, everyone at the Golden State Warriors is optimistic that their bold offseason move for veteran point-guard Chris Paul will work out effectively.
But what if it doesn’t work? What if the stylistic contrasts between Paul and the Warriors are too much to overcome? What if the 38-year-old is unwilling to embrace a bench role? What if, from early in the season, it’s evident he simply isn’t a fit?
A number of championship-contending rivals could hold interest in Chris Paul if his move to the Golden State Warriors fails to reap benefit.
Paul may be slightly overpaid based on last season’s production, but there’s still wriggle room for the Warriors to move him on if it becomes an undesirable situation. Few rebuilding teams are going to be interested unless Golden State attach assets, leaving teams who may be in direct competition with the franchise for the 2024 NBA championship.
Let’s have a look at four championship-contending rivals who may hold interest in Paul if things go astray in the Bay:
1. LA Clippers
The Clippers have been the preferred home for 76ers star James Harden this offseason, though Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia front office remain hesitant to deal the former MVP.
Another former MVP, Russell Westbrook, was productive in his brief stint with the Clippers late last season, leading to a new deal for the 34-year-old in free agency. However, the team’s interest in Harden is a sure-fire sign that they’d still like to improve their point-guard situation.
LA was seen as one of the prominent landing spots for Paul after he was traded by the Phoenix Suns, only for the Warriors to swoop in and agree to a deal with the Wizards. If the Harden scenario were to never eventuate, you could expect the Clippers would have some interest in Paul whom they could offer a starting role to.
Of course, Warrior fans would be hoping to get their hands on Paul George in return, but that’s a fantasy particularly if their experience with CP3 is going south. Realistically, the Warriors would probably see a combination of role players that could include the likes of Norman Powell, Nic Batum, Marcus Morris and Robert Covington.